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McKnight hires Collaborative Crop Research program assistant

June 7, 2013

The McKnight Foundation has hired Kaying Vang as program assistant for its Collaborative Crop Research program, part of the Foundation's international grantmaking portfolio. She joined the staff on May 28.

Vang was most recently employed as a program associate for the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she worked on projects for the Roy Wilkins Center for Social Justice, the Humphrey School Office of the Dean, and the International Fellows Program. Previously, she worked for Mano a Mano International in St. Paul and Bolivia, and the Peace Corps in Guatemala. She has a master's degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. In addition to English, she speaks Spanish and Hmong.

McKnight's crop research funding aims to help resource-poor rural people in developing countries achieve food and nutritional security. In 2012, 7% of McKnight's funding — roughly $6.2 million — went to crop research.

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation had assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $85 million in 2012. Of the total, over $9 million went to support an environment in which artists are valued leaders in our community, with access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. Learn more at, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tim Hanrahan, McKnight Communications Director, 612-333-4220